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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First attempt at aquascaping. I want to achieve the off-center V effect. I will cover the slopes with flourite gravel, but I don't think piling it 6-7" deep is a good idea. I worry about creating anaerobic areas, not to mention the expense.

So, if you have created high slopes in your aquascape, what methods did you use. Did it work as you wanted? What would you do differently?

Julia
 

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Rock, wood, etc. Plant roots once they work in good and then only top the plants, do not uproot.

Plug any and all holes where the sediment will sneak through aim for much steeper slopes than you think, the reward is typically greater when this is done.

Put some real effort into it and do not rush. Think about it before you add water and give it time. Change unless you are 100%/99% happy.
 

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Eggcrate (used in Fluro fixtures)
Screening material (screen door)

Build up your levels with the eggcrate. Put the screening material down, weigh it down with rock/wood and pile on your substrate of choice.. This will prevent the need for excess materials (Weight/strain on glass and on your stand)

-Gordon
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Eggcrate?

Eggcrate (used in Fluro fixtures)
Screening material (screen door)

Build up your levels with the eggcrate. Put the screening material down, weigh it down with rock/wood and pile on your substrate of choice.. This will prevent the need for excess materials (Weight/strain on glass and on your stand)

-Gordon
Gordon, maybe a stupid question, but what do you mean by "eggcrate"? Are you referring to the styrofoam cartons that come from the grocery store? Or something else?

Thanks-
Julia
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Dogfish and Gordon, thank you. I see a trip to Home Depot in my future...

Any chance you could recommend a link to a how-to? I've done some web searching but perhaps not using the right search terms. I've found design information, but no DIY step by step.

Julia
 

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Can the egg crate be filled with something like Great Stuff insulation foam? To make it a solid, lightweight mass? If you don't have tin snips, do you think pruning cutters will cut the egg crate?
(I love the idea of using it!)
 

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Pruning cutters would (probably) work, but a small wire cutter will work the best. Even a pair of strong scissors will work, if you don't care about dulling them.

I've never messed around with Great Stuff, but I know it's a popular choice for terrarium folks. I'd imagine you'd have to cure it in a dry environment outside your tank, then place it in?
 

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I'll pick up some wire cutters for this - it sounds like a cool way to do slopes.
I've been reading a lot on cichlid sites about homemade 3D backgrounds. They use a lot of Grear Stuff in their constructions. I thought perhaps filling the gaps int he grid with it would prevent dead spots of stagnant water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
eggcrate and netting?

Say I create a tiered stack of eggcrate, then cover it with gutter netting. Top that with 2" fluorite and maybe a little gravel.....

I then arrange rocks, plants, and carefully fill with water. The plant roots won't get much farther than the netting. The water will fill under the eggcrate layers... Is that the idea? Will the plants thrive (with root tabs & column dosing)? Or - should the spaces in the eggcrate be filled in with gravel or stones? Then we're back to the anaerobic issue.

I know I'm probably overcomplicating this, but i've done plenty wrong, and I'd like to do this right.

Julia
 

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Years ago I build a reef tank wet/dry filter and a pond filter and used a several egg crate panels. I recommend a set of wire "Side Cutters". You can snip through pretty fast.

If you like power tools...doesn't everyone? A jig saw with a med blade will zip right through.
 

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I just stacked my soil up for the slope. I guess I should've supported it somehow? I havent had it fall apart at all. I did it with aquasoil. I do wish that I had put some crate under it now but I havent seen a problem at all.
 

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I just stacked my soil up for the slope. I guess I should've supported it somehow? I havent had it fall apart at all. I did it with aquasoil. I do wish that I had put some crate under it now but I havent seen a problem at all.
I've never built slopes with anything, just pushed the gravel into a mound. Always worked well for me.

The only time I had anaerobic pockets was when I had 4" of play sand and never once poked it or stirred it for over a year. Everything was growing fine though.
 

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Great Stuff will soak and get soggy, you'd need to seal it with silicone very well. ADA Aquasoil is clay based I've heard, so it holds together better then other options.
 

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Now that you mention it, I think all the DIYers on the cichlid sites coat their creations with Drilok or concrete...
 

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concrete leaches, i have seen other seals used successfully but not concrete without an outer seal. if you don't care for the darker substrated a good one which is really cheap is turface pro, its clayish colored looks great and is heavy enough to not get disturbed so easily
 

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Now that you mention it, I think all the DIYers on the cichlid sites coat their creations with Drilok or concrete...
you need to seal it. the foam will degrade if constantly exposed to water. silicone will not be enough if submerged. it works with water running down it, but i wouldn't trust it submerged. remember that even if you seal it with concrete or drylok, it will still fall apart eventually. they really don't last all that long in a tank, and if you bury it, you won't know how it is holding up.

imo, you could just pile rocks and pour your substrate over them. that's what i did and it is holding up fine.
 
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